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PSYC FPX 3540 Assessment 1 Theories Application Exercise


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3540 Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity

Prof. Name


Social Cognitive Theory

Summary of the Concept

Social cognitive theory is focused on the division and categorization of information to enhance understanding. It highlights the interaction between personal, behavioral, and environmental factors, proposing that individuals develop automatic responses based on ingrained beliefs related to various characteristics such as race, gender, and age. According to this theory, from a young age, people learn and form preferences and perceptions through observations, which can lead to the development of stereotypes and prejudices (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020).

Real-World Example

A clear illustration of social cognitive theory in everyday life is the perpetuation of racial stereotypes and prejudices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus was often automatically associated with China, leading to hostility towards Chinese immigrants. This reaction demonstrates how preconceived notions based on race influence behavior (Abdullah, 2019). Additionally, instances like a comedian addressing stereotypes about Chinese people in a reality show underscore how observations and beliefs contribute to discriminatory attitudes (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020).

Name of Video: White Like Me

Brief Summary of the Video

“White Like Me” is a documentary by Tim Wise that delves into issues of race and privilege in America. Drawing inspiration from the book “Black Like Me,” Wise discusses the systemic inequalities faced by people of color, particularly highlighting the privileges enjoyed by white individuals. Through historical analysis and personal stories, the documentary sheds light on the pervasive nature of racism in various sectors, including politics, education, and the criminal justice system (Watson, 2011).

PSYC FPX 3540 Assessment 1 Theories Application Exercise

Application of the Concept/Theory

The principles of social cognitive theory can help elucidate the dynamics portrayed in the video. Historical instances of slavery and discrimination against black individuals align with the theory’s focus on the categorization of groups and the development of stereotypes (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). Moreover, the documentary illustrates how societal structures maintain inequalities, with white privilege resulting in disparities in areas such as incarceration rates and access to resources (Landman, 2020). The concept of “reverse discrimination” discussed in the documentary also ties into the motivational aspect of the theory, where individuals strive to preserve their perceived privileges when they feel threatened (What Is Reverse Discrimination? | Swartz Swidler, n.d.).

  • Abdullah, S. M. (2019). Similarity Article: Social Cognitive Theory: A Bandura Thought Review Published in 1982-2012. Journal PSIKODIMENSIA, 18(1), 85–100.
  • Landman, T. (2020). Measuring Modern Slavery: Law, Human Rights, and New Forms of Data. Human Rights Quarterly, 42(2), 303–331.
  • Schunk, D. H., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2020). Motivation and Social Cognitive Theory. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 60(1), 101832.

PSYC FPX 3540 Assessment 1 Theories Application Exercise

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